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The SRX, Cadillac's bestselling model since 2010, receives a mid-cycle update for 2013. Subtle exterior tweaks refresh the appearance of the midsize crossover while the interior is modernized. Front fender vents on the SRX now feature L.E.D. light pipes and the diamond-shaped grille has added chrome details. Such standards as 18” wheels are on the Base and Luxury trims yet the higher-priced Performance and Premium are now available with 20” chrome or polished wheels.
Another appearance update is the face-lift performed upon the front- and rear-ends; not to mention the new metallic paint colors named Glacier Blue, Silver Coast and Evolution Green. Moving to the inside, passengers are treated with plenty of updates, most notably the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system that replaces the audio, comfort and HVAC controls.
With an interface comparable to iDevices, CUE is not too difficult for first-time users adapting from other control systems. Only four physical buttons are present (Home, On/Off, Volume-Up and -Down), placed below an eight-inch touch screen featuring capacitive technology that outperforms the resistive technology currently flooding the auto-market. Capacitive technology allows for multi-touch functions like pinch-to-zoom and rotations. CUE is also tied into the instrument panel, allowing it to display any of four driver-selectable layouts. The powertrain remains the same, as the SRX is equipped across the model range with a 3.6L V6 producing 308 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. Whether in a front-wheel or all-wheel drive model, fuel economy isn’t bad at 17/24 mpg city/highway and 16/23 mpg, respectively.
Other luxury crossovers that shoppers may consider include the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX 350. These models claim better fuel mileage (in certain trims) than the one-engine option SRX but lack some of the interior features available in the updated Cadillac. Also, the Q5, along with many luxury cars, requires premium gas while the SRX is fine sipping on regular. Lincoln’s MKX offers a similar touch-based system as the CUE (called MyLincoln) but consumers have struggled with its’ usability. Though Cadillac has an all-wheel drive system available, the Land Rover LR2 offers better off-road capability and outward visibility. Yet the performance on the pavement doesn’t measure up to the SRX nor does the LR2’s fuel economy.
After undergoing a complete redesign in 2009, the SRX has quietly become the sales-leader of GM’s Cadillac division. With the updates it has received in 2013, the crossover seems poised for a long run at the top.
Although the lowest-priced trim, the base SRX is still a Cadillac. Only available on front-wheel drive models, the base trim’s features include CUE, Bose premium 8-speaker audio system and SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a 1-year trial. Also equipped are dual zone climate control, leatherette seating surfaces and power windows/door locks. Mechanical standards across the model line-up consist of features such as 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes, electronic stability control and 4-wheel independent suspension. The 60/40 split-folding backseat (that also reclines) is found in every SRX as well. Options not available on this trim include heated seats, sunroof and a power liftgate.
A step up from the base, the Luxury boasts a longer list of standard equipment while also offering more available options as well. Leather, heated seats and a power liftgate are standard while navigation and all-wheel drive are available. The SRX in Luxury trim comes with an UltraView sunroof and, like the Base, 18” aluminum wheels. However, the Luxury wheels are given a bright-machined finish for a better shine. Another upgrade is the rain-sensitive wipers that turn themselves on (and off) with the detection (and non-detection) of rain. The rear-seat dual-player entertainment system is optional, as well as the Choco- or Raven-Sapele wood trim package. Yet, features like ventilated seats and tri-zone automatic climate control are not offered on the Luxury.
Along with all that’s on the Luxury (except replaced features), the Performance trim offers more standards but keeps from going overboard. 20” wheels with a bright-machined finish and painted accents are added on the outside along with front fog lamps. Some other exterior standards include the Xenon HID headlamps and headlamp washers. On the interior, the Bose sound system flaunts a surround-sound feature with 10-speakers and a navigation system is added. A variable-effort power steering system replaces the rack-and-pinion one in the Luxury and Base trims. A highly tuned sport suspension is available that can read and adjust damping forces every 2 milliseconds.
When looking at the Premium’s equipment list, it can be hard to find the differences between it and the Performance trim, but they do exist. Some of the most notable standard upgrades are found in the rear. The rear outboard seats are heated and individual controls for rear-seat passengers are added as part of the tri-zone automatic climate control. Safety features added are the safety alert seat, lane departure warning and forward collision alert that are part of Cadillac’s Driver Awareness Package. Other standards in the Premium include ventilated driver and front passenger seats.